We’re happy to debut our new series “TELL it ALL, ChaCha” where we share inspiring & trendsetting stories from some of our favorite personalities in our communities, continent & around the Globe. Featured in our first ever edition is BANDY KIKI, Founder of KINNAKA BUSINESS GROUP , Blogger, Activist & in all, a Social Media Influencer.
Of a Cameroonian descent, based in Manchester, United Kingdom, Bandy Kiki, age twenty seven, has succeeded to make herself a household name through vigorous branding and her strong personality. Despite her usually busy schedule, the beautiful but humble businesswoman was able to take off time to attend to us.
See below everything you never knew about her personal, religious, emotional & mental stance, opinions and preferences.
Passion Fruit: Kiki! It feels so great to finally have an opportunity to hear from you! How do you do?
Bandy Kiki:I am great. Feel amazing today actually.
Passion Fruit: Ahhh, Kiki, I feel like running pass cordiality for now and getting straight to the nitty-gritty part of it, is that okay with you? Okay, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding you, as a person, your opinions and values. But it doesn’t suffice what we see you display on a platform like social media – we want to crack through into what it is that makes Bandy Kiki. So tell us a little side of you we do not know?
Bandy Kiki: I don’t mind us going straight to the point.
The fact that I have a different thought process or outspoken about the ongoing political unrest in my country Cameroon shouldn’t automatically mean I am a controversial person or surrounded by controversies.
Nowadays, most people are generic for social acceptance, and people with true individuality are seen as controversial or different.
People see me on social media and instantly decide my label.
They don’t know, this person who is supposedly controversial is afraid of dogs and cats. They don’t know that she freaks out just by looking at a severe rash.
Passion Fruit: (Follow up) I am more interested in the subtle side albeit the beautiful, strong independent woman we see on social media! A little insight into the vulnerable side of you?
Bandy Kiki: The lack of trust in people is my core vulnerability. I don’t trust anyone, not fully anyways. So if you are reading this and I told you that I trust you fully and completely, I lied.
My inability to trust people has made it difficult to completely let myself be vulnerable especially relationships, which can be quite lonely.
Passion Fruit: *SMILES* I must admit I admire you so much! You have stayed consistent as a brand and social media influencer with a growing number on your social media platforms. How does that feel? And could you share your secret to success with us?
Bandy Kiki: Thank you… I work so hard I forget to smell the roses and celebrate small victories. As a symbiotic opportunist always looking for new ways to expand my brand and achieve set goals, things can get overwhelming. Hearing this from you reminds me of how far I have come.
The secret is consistency and hard work; there are no shortcuts. Social media has created a lot of ‘noise’ around us. You have to be able to shut it out and focus on your grind, even when social media is part of the grind. It is imperative to get used to failure but never let it derail you from your dreams.
And by the way, I am not successful yet. However, I am going to be or die trying.
Passion Fruit: They say you become a mentee before a mentor – now many look to you. But I guess there was a time you looked to someone or still do. Who was/is your biggest motivation?
Bandy Kiki: My mother, Lukong Christaincia Gola. She was an exceptional leader (I can’t believe I just said was) and created an impeccable impact in the Catholic Women Association at the divisional level in Cameroon.
She died of cancer on April 8, 2017.
Passion Fruit: How Sad, Kiki! Somewhere in you lies passion; and passion is a personal thing; because we are the only ones powerful enough to feed it or kill it. What or who constantly fuels your passion? People or things?
Bandy Kiki: The fear of failure and the need to create an impact in the world fuels my passion. I want to be able to look back on my past and say ‘that happened because I didn’t give up.
Passion Fruit: The talk on motivation & passion just got me excited, and now I am curious. What prompted you to take on your career path? If you had to write an essay on the “biggest breakthrough of my life,” how will your story go?
Bandy Kiki: I don’t think I have had the ‘breakthrough of my life’ yet, but if I had to write my story about my journey, it would start from when I found my purpose in life.
A few years ago, I went through the first toughest moment in my life. I hit rock bottom and came back up completely rewired, with a life purpose and clear goals.
You see, one good thing about hitting rock bottom is that it oftentimes serves as a huge wake-up call to look into our lives. It is also an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, which is what I did.
Hitting rock bottom opened me to a new level of understanding and a better sense of self.
That will be the opening of my breakthrough story…
Passion Fruit: Talking about KINNAKA’S BLOG, we reckon it focuses on News and Current affairs. What is the goal – to entertain, educate or inspire?
Bandy Kiki: At Kinnaka’s Blog we educate, inform, entertain and promote.
Passion Fruit: (Follow up) I will like to linger longer on “inspire”, would you term yourself an activist?
Bandy Kiki: I am an LGBTQ rights activist and recently opened an online conversation on anti-LGBTQ laws and under-representation of LGBTQ people in Cameroon.
Passion Fruit: Evaluating yourself, do you think you have been a great influence on our youths? And if there has been anything/incidence you will want to change or improve on? Any upcoming projects?
Bandy Kiki: According to the feedback I get, I inspire hard work in youths. I have also been told by young girls and women that my outspoken views on the ongoing political unrest in Cameroon gave them the courage to address specific aspects of their lives. They say the fact that I stood my grounds despite the positive HIV smear campaign and a lot more showed bravery.
As for upcoming projects, I am currently working on and should be making a big announcement in a few months. I am super excited about it. Can’t wait for everyone to see it…
Passion Fruit: Kiki, because my platform upholds a mantra that limits our focus to purpose-seeking, talent and/gift enhancement & a few more, we often pretend not to love gossip! *winks* but even you don’t believe that!*laughs*. So we are going to ask you about your recent COME OUT! Our African culture is pretty stiff as well as Christian doctrines negate courses like that – were you prepared for the backlash that followed and is there any moral lesson we can learn from your bravado?
Bandy Kiki: I was sort of prepared for the backlash when I came out as a lesbian. I was already getting some in the closet anyways. A top Cameroonian actor/comedian/producer used my sexuality to blackmail and threaten me before my coming out.
The fact that the African culture is ‘stiff’ on homosexuality doesn’t mean some Africans aren’t LGBTQ people, who should be allowed to express their sexuality freely.
By having the audacity to embrace and live my truth, I feel liberated and in a much better mental state now.
It is heartbreaking knowing that there are many like me who will never be honest about their persons, because people have decided to hide behind culture and religion to hate.
Passion Fruit: What about your circle – loved ones, how do they treat your professional prowess plus your personal choices?
Bandy Kiki: My loved ones are supportive and know when not to meddle.
As for my circle, it is pretty small and made up of people who get me as a person and understand my grind. People who constantly question my personal choices or profession can’t be part of my circle.
Passion Fruit: We appreciate you devoting so much time chatting to us. Any last words?
Bandy Kiki: Don’t trade your authenticity for approval.
Passion Fruit: It was such a pleasure, looking forward to the future! KISSES and GOOD FORTUNE!!!
Bandy Kiki: Thanks for having me.
For more information on Bandy Kiki, click on links below: